Bethel Clean Energy Project
What is the Bethel Clean Energy Project?
The Bethel Clean Energy Project is a pilot project that aims to make clean energy technologies accessible to Bethel residents. We are working directly with residents to research the best options to deploy free or low-cost clean energy home improvements that will save money and improve air quality. This pilot project, in partnership with VertueLab and Business Oregon, pinpoints residents directly affected by the pollution from the former J.H. Baxter site. We hope this project will serve as a model for accessible, clean energy projects for communities impacted by industrial pollution.
Our primary goal is to work within the community to determine the feasibility of different types of Clean Energy projects. We intend to work with city, state and federal agencies to bring funding through incentives, grants and rebates to make these choices free or affordable to Bethel residents. The project seeks to maximize benefits and reduce barriers to this funding so that Bethel residents feel confident to make Clean Energy changes to their homes.
Bringing Clean Energy to Bethel will:
For now, involvement is limited to Bethel-area residents directly impacted by pollution from J.H. Baxter. Canvassers will be in the neighborhood in the coming weeks to sign-up folks who may be interested in participating in the pilot projects. Stay tuned to this page for updates on the project.
What types of Clean Energy technologies are potentially available for Bethel?
Solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity. A solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can reliably produce electricity for your home or office. These small solar systems are often installed by home or business owners to offset their electricity costs.
Solar systems convert light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called the photovoltaic effect. Today, electricity from solar cells has become cost competitive in many regions and photovoltaic systems are being deployed at large scales to help power the electric grid. https://www.nrel.gov/research/re-photovoltaics.html
Heat Pumps: A Two-Way Solution for Year-Round Comfort
In contrast to traditional HVAC appliances, heat pumps can run in both heating and cooling mode — filling the role of both an air conditioner and a furnace. Heat pumps running in heating mode have an energy-saving edge over a traditional gas or electric furnace: the heat pump simply moves heat rather than creating it through fossil fuel combustion or electric resistance. This key difference enables heat pumps to reach far greater levels of efficiency. Reference
Building Insulation and Windows
Key features of energy efficient homes are improvements such as adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and improving windows to provide simple and affordable measures that often do not require a professional contractor. A typical homeowner may invest $1,000 on their home but can save up to $300 on energy bills each year and enjoy year round indoor comfort.